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Spring is coming, and now it is the time for us to register our dear offspring for sports with Spring Soccer and Baseball being the two hot sports at the moment. Apprehensive about your petit butterfly of a daughter to play the contact sport of soccer? Are you a mom who isn't familiar with masculine sports appliances? Read on and get edumacated.

Quickie clicks: Sports Quotes, "The Tender Gender" column, "Masculine Appliances" column, Recipes, and Sports Links.


Sports Quotes:

"If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base." ~Dave Barry

"Sports do not build character. They reveal it." ~Haywood Hale Broun, quoted in James A. Michener's Sports in America
~1992 Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, on his team's 7-27 record: "We can't win at home. We can't win on the road. As general manager, I just can't figure out where else to play."

~1991 Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you: Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care."

The Tender Gender

By: Angela Gillaspie Copyright September 1996

My daughter had her first soccer game the other day. There are twelve six- and seven-year-olds on the team and my daughter is one of the only two girls on the team. It was her idea to play soccer and the experience is going to be a learning-in-process one for her, her Dad, and myself. She is our oldest child and our only girl, and I certainly did not realize how her feminine upbringing would inhibit her playing ball.

At the beginning of the second quarter, she got her chance to play. She enthusiastically romped out onto the field and took up her position, grinning from ear to ear. Then, the referee blew the whistle and all the boys ran toward the ball and started frantically kicking it, hoping to score. My daughter timidly followed the pack of boys with a bewildered look on her face. Whenever the ball came near her she would attempt to kick it, but she would suddenly stop as if to let the other kids have their turn. All of her life, I have taught her to be nice, to cross her legs, take turns, don't hit, don't hurt, and to smile and make friends. This is how I was raised, and I want my princess to act like a little lady. Now I find that she is applying those same rules out on the playing field.

When halftime rolled around, I went up to her and explained that although she is doing a terrific job, she needs to get "mean." I told her, "This is a game, and those boys are not wanting to make friends, they are wanting to score. You should try and do the same; you won't hurt anyone -- that's why you are wearing shin guards! Kick hard, run fast, and get mean!" I also mentioned, "After the game, you will have plenty of time to be nice and make new friends." She looked up at me with wide and confused eyes and said, "But you said to always be nice!" I reminded her, "Yes, that's true but this is a game -- you want you kick, run, and try to score. Just act like all of those boys out there our your little brothers." The light went off in her head, and she nodded her understanding. The fourth quarter was her next time to play, and she anxiously got into position. When the referee blew the whistle, she was all over the ball; she had such a determined look on her face. She never scored in this game, but there were a few close calls. I was so proud of her, and she was proud of herself too.

"How do you motivate a little girl to be aggressive out on the field?" My husband asked me. He added, "I can't tell her the things I was told because she's a GIRL!" Not only is she a girl, she is his little girl. Last week, we went to her elementary school to have lunch with her, and about every three minutes a different little boy was waving and her and telling her "Hey Ashley!!" My husband said, "I don't know if I like all of these boys yelling at her. Doesn't she have any GIRL friends?" I imagine that he loves for her to play sports, that way she might take what she learned on-the-field and apply it off-the-field. For example, a boy might try to hold her hand and she would kick him in the shin and yell, "Out of bounds!" Or, a boy might try to kiss her and she would head-butt him and yell, "FOUL!"

I never played sports in school, so I am guiding her blindly. The next game, in hopes to motivate her, I will ask her, "Remember how mad you were when Josh (her three-year-old brother) broke off your favorite Barbie dolls' leg and stuck it up his nose? Remember how upset you get with Nick (her one-year-old brother) when he pulls all of your clothes out of your dresser and puts them in the kitchen garbage can?" Her eyes will narrow and she will passionately nod yes. Next I will say, "Pretend that all of these boys out there on the other team just jumped up and down on your freshly made bed with their dirty cleats and pulled your pony tail!" Right when she is about to explode, I will yell, "Get mean and go get 'em!" Yes, I believe my petite flower of a daughter will become a raging six-year-old soccer maniac that will have the other team's goalie for breakfast.

Gee, I can't wait until the next game.

Masculine Appliances

By: Angela Gillaspie Copyright September 1999

It is that time of year when kids start school and join sports teams, and so far, I have had it easy. My oldest child is starting her fifth season of soccer (of which I have coached four seasons), and my second oldest child is starting his first season of soccer (which my husband will be coaching). I thought I had a pretty good handle on sports stuff, but after viewing the sports on the local news last night, I had a very interesting conversation with my husband.

The sportscaster went through the football scores and then began on the last of the baseball scores. After viewing a baseball player scratching and spitting, I commented to my husband, "Is it a prerequisite for baseball that you must scratch and spit constantly? Why don't football players scratch as much and spit out on the football field?" He said, "Football players wear mouth guards so they can't spit on the field. If you watch them on the sidelines, you can see that they spit just as much as baseball players. Baseball players wear a cup and football players wear a strap, so of course they itch more."

'Cup' and 'strap'? This confused me. I grew up with all sisters and there were no boys anywhere, so I asked, "So, uh, what's the difference between a 'strap' and a 'cup'?" He proceeded to describe (and show me) a jock strap (ewww). And then he went on to describe the 'cup'. Shocked, and being the inquisitive person that I am, I had many questions. And now for your reading pleasure, I will provide my lengthy interview with the once tight-end and linebacker in football, former guard in basketball, and previous third baseman in baseball.

Me: "Do you wear underwear with a strap?"

Husband: "I suppose you could if you wanted to, I never did."

M: "Why?"

H: "I don't know why! Gosh!"

M: "Does the cup touch bare skin or is cloth between the plastic and uh, you know?"

H: "It touches skin."

M: "Ewww! Doesn't it hurt?"

H: "No, not really."

M: "It gets all sweaty and stuff doesn't it?"

H: "Duh."

M: "What ingredients does that jock powder stuff have in it? Insecticide?"

H: "HONEY I DON'T KNOW!!! I'M NOT A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE! I'M IN MIDDLE MANAGEMENT! DANG!!"

M: "Do you need a strap when playing soccer?"

H: He utters a deep sigh, "I'm sure the older players do."

M: "How old do you need to be to wear a strap/cup?"

H: "Honey, it's late. I don't know."

M: "Can you put the 'cup' in the dishwasher?"

H: "NO! LEAVE ME ALONE!"

M: "Come on, now. We have two sons, and to be a good mommy, I need to know this stuff. Now, will a 10 year-old playing baseball need a cup or a strap?"

H: "We don't have a 10-year-old son, and," he pauses for effect, "I DON'T KNOW!"

M: "How does the cup fit on your, uh, you know?"

H: He moans, and says through clenched teeth, "It just fits down in the jock strap."

M: I inspect his 20 year-old jock strap, "Are there regular jock straps and jock straps with little thingies to hold in the cup?"

H: He is louder now and gets up to leave the room, "I DON'T REMEMBER!!!"

M: "Is there a help desk in the jock strap section?"

H: He glares at me as he passes through the doorway, "I SURE AS HELL HOPE SO!!!"

I took that to be the end of the questions. The next morning, after hugging him and giving a kiss, I continued with the questions.

M: "Do the cups have one size fits all or do they come in different sizes?"

H: He ignores me and pours himself a cup of coffee.

M: "Hmm?"

H: He turns and gets within two inches of my face, "Next week we will go to jock section at Wal-mart and have a field trip. OK? Please?"

I smile because I know now there is no reason for concern. Soon I'll know ALL about those mysterious masculine appliances. It's too bad that I will miss the opportunity to ask my sometime-soon-teenaged boys' coach all of these questions.

With an evil smile playing on my lips, I think, "Nah, it's never too late for an opportunity to learn."

Quickie Recipes to take to the game to satisfy the kids (and you):

Loopy Loops

White chocolate bark coating stuff

Froot Loops (a couple of cups or so)

Heat the coating over low heat until it is melted. Stir in Fruit Loops (enough so that there is a thin white coating on the loops and they could "lump together"). When the loops are coated, drop by tablespoon onto waxed paper. Allow to cool/dry and then store in airtight container (if they last that long!).

Puppy Chow

This came from a friend of mine who said, "This is really good; the kids love it and so does my dog!"

1 stick margarine

1/2 cup peanut butter

6 ounces or one cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 box Crispix cereal

2 cups powdered sugar

Melt margarine, peanut butter, and chocolate chips in either microwave or over low heat. Place cereal in a large pan, pour peanut butter mixture over cereal and coat well. In a large paper bag pour the following: one cup of the powdered sugar, the coated cereal and then the remaining powdered sugar. Shake well; place on wax paper to dry. Store in airtight container.

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Revised: 06/08/03 - 05/16/18
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